Few people wonder what life would be like without any nationality, or even know that it is possible to be stateless. This presents a challenge when trying to address this problem. In order to help tackle this, ENS is organising a youth congress as part of our #StatelessKids campaign which seeks to eradicate childhood statelessness in Europe. We believe that engaging young people from across Europe as ambassadors for our campaign will have a profound impact on how the issue is viewed, and will help persuade European Governments to look at addressing the issue.
On Monday 11 July, 50 young ambassadors and ENS member organisations from across Europe will join us in Brussels for three days of training, strategy development and planning on how to eradicate childhood statelessness. The agenda which includes sessions on working with the media, advocacy and campaigning was designed with input from ENS members, who will also be supporting the young ambassadors in follow-up work after the congress aimed at taking the issue to their national governments.
On the last day, at an event in the European Parliament (12.30pm 13 July, Library Reading Room – ASP 5th floor) 35 young ambassadors (including stateless youth) will hand over an online petition (already with over 18,000 signatures) in support of our #StatelessKids campaign, highlighting the need to protect thousands of children in Europe from the scourge of statelessness. The meeting will be hosted by Anna Maria Corazza Bildt MEP and Caterina Chinnici MEP Co-Chairs of the European Parliament Intergroup on Children’s Rights and attended by representatives from the Slovak Presidency and other key Brussels stakeholders. You can read the full press note here and the European Parliament meeting agenda here.
You can access the full Youth Congress agenda here.
The congress would not be possible without the generous support of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Maastricht University. The youth congress is intended to galvanise new support and to try to bring Europe an important step closer towards UNHCR’s #ibelong campaign objective of eradicating statelessness across the globe.